THERE are a number of ways to combat today’s spiralling petrol prices, but building your own electric chopper from scratch is certainly one of the more unusual.

Motorcycle enthusiast Nigel Bryant knows all about surviving economic uncertainty.

The former technical officer at Bournemouth University’s School of Conservation Sciences was made redundant two years ago, aged 53.

“But I wanted to turn this setback into something positive,” he explained.

“Hence the idea of building an electric bicycle from scratch.”

Now the eco-friendly chopper takes pride of place next to Nigel’s Harley Davidson, but it is considerably cheaper to run.

“Despite its radical appearance, the bike turned out to be very comfortable and surprisingly easy to ride,” said Nigel.

The chopper, with a top speed of 20mph and a range of 20 miles, is powered by a lithium-ion battery, hidden away in one of the panniers.

It only takes a couple of hours to fully charge the battery from the mains.

Nigel said: “With petrol becoming ever more expensive, an eco-friendly means of transport made perfect sense.”

The 55-year-old, from Haymoor Road, Poole, even learned how to weld for the project.

He designed and built the frame himself and, although some specialist components were needed, the entire bike, costing £1,000, progressed from an idea to a reality in just one year.

Nigel said: “My initial test rides around Poole have prompted very enthusiastic reactions from onlookers of all ages.

“Ranging from the simplest cries of ‘cool bike’ to lengthy conversations about small details of the build, these great interactions with complete strangers enhance every ride.

“I now look forward to spending my newly-enforced retirement riding around the beautiful Dorset countryside in the sunshine, rather than just wasting my life away behind a desk.”

Visit Nigel's website here